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Pulled lamb & aubergine ragù

Pulled lamb & aubergine ragù

Smoky grilled aubergine, warming spices and Kalamata olives give this rich, meltingly tender lamb ragù some serious moussaka-inspired flavours. Stash it away in the freezer for cold winter nights or relaxed entertaining. 

5 out of 5 stars(3) Rate this recipe
  • Serves8
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare25 mins
  • Cook3 hrs 45 mins
  • Total time4 hrs 10 mins

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  • kg whole boneless shoulder of lamb
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large red onions, finely chopped
  • 4 clove/s garlic, crushed
  • tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 400ml red wine
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml lamb stock
  • 160g pitted Kalamata olives (drained weight)
  • 3 aubergines
  • 25g pack mint, leaves picked, 1⁄2 finely shredded

To serve

  • Cooked pasta (such as pappardelle)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano, grated


  1. Pat the lamb shoulder dry with kitchen paper, remove the string and unroll. Trim the excess fat, then cut into 4-5cm chunks and season. Heat 11⁄2 tbsp oil in a deep sauté pan or large, wide casserole dish, then fry the lamb in batches over a high heat until browned on all sides (5-8 minutes per batch), adding more oil if necessary. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a plate; set aside.

  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low, then fry the onions in the fat remaining in the pan for 8-10 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, cinnamon and oregano, then cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until fragrant. Pour in the wine and reduce by 1⁄2 (5-8 minutes). Return the lamb and any resting juices to the pan. Add the tomatoes and stock, stir to combine, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook on a low heat, covered, for 11⁄2 hours. Uncover, increase to a medium-low heat and bubble gently for a further 11⁄2 hours until the sauce has thickened, stirring through the olives for the final 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, preheat the grill to its highest setting. Prick the aubergines all over with a fork. Put on a baking tray and grill, turning occasionally, until soft, shrivelled and blackened (20-30 minutes). Set aside on a board until cool enough to handle, then cut off the stems, halve lengthways and scoop out the flesh. Discard the stems and skin, then use 2 forks to pull apart the aubergine flesh. Set aside.

  4. Take the ragù off the heat and use 2 forks to pull the lamb apart in the pan. Stir through the aubergine and return to the heat for a final 5-10 minutes. Season, stir in the shredded mint, then ladle the ragù over cooked pasta. Scatter with grated cheese and the remaining mint leaves, torn, to serve.

Cook’s tip

To freeze: Portion the cooled ragù into airtight containers or freezer bags, then freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat with a splash of water until piping hot throughout. Serve with pasta, jacket potatoes or polenta.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


3,366kJ/ 804kcals



Saturated Fat












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